Healing power of dogs

Lola, a Tibetan spaniel, received plenty of love from students. Her owner, Amanda Burns, said Lola is deaf but still responds well to hand motions.

Every semester is filled with anxiety, stress, fear and second-guessing brought on by tests, papers and projects — especially at midterms.

To help relieve that stress, Paws Up brought four therapy dogs to East Campus on March 26.

According to Priscilla Babbitt with Paws Up, when people pet her Frankie, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Babbitt sees smiles, relaxation and joy. Accompanying Frankie was fellow therapy dog Sailor.

“There is this calming affect for both of them,” said Sailor’s owner, Theresa Sharpe.

Some of the therapy dogs, such as Lola, a Tibetan Spaniel, did not always have it great. 

“She was thrown out of a pickup truck in front of my house and she was in really bad shape, but she had a really great personality, and was really sweet,” said Amanda Burns of Paws Up. 

Burns said she wanted to build a dog park and through that, she stumbled across someone in the Paws Up program and the rest is history.

Students who attended the event shared how they cope with the stress of the semester. Relieving stress does not have to be about practicing yoga or counting backward from 100.  

“I’ll stop and do something fun, like go to the movies,” said pharmacy major Stacy Delbosque.

Other students find creative ways to help manage.

“It feels so good, feels so soft,” education major Gabrielle Gaiton said while petting a therapy dog. Gaiton said she draws to cope with the stress of the semester. 

Counselors often see students come in and out of their offices for similar reasons. 

“We’re seeing them at all times, so we’re kind of seeing them come in from the beginning of the semester, up until the end of the semester,” said counselor Brittany Palacios.

Counselors will also be available during the summer, Palacios said, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fridays on East Campus. Counselors are available by appointment only on the West Campus. 

For more information on how to handle stress or personal problems, contact the Counseling Center at 361-698-1586 or dmccounseling@delmar.edu.

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